TV-PGJanuary 5, 2004: Tomorrow's the Stevenote! How will you tune in? Meanwhile, Apple announces a new board member (and he comes bearing Lucky Charms), and Cringely's predicting various ouches for Apple in 2004, including Wal-Mart beating down the iTunes Music Store...
But First, A Word From Our Sponsors

Mash-ups and original music by AtAT's former Intern and Goddess-in-Training

Prim M at YouTube

50 Ways To Love Your Leader (1/5/04)

Welcome to 2004, everybuggy! Granted, we're already five days in, but we figured that half of you are just getting over your hangovers, and we also wanted to make sure we had broken all those pesky New Year's resolutions before we got back to full-on drama mode. Nothing puts a bigger cramp in your style than a intact resolution or six, especially during Expo week. We've only got one left to jettison, so bear with us for just a second, here...


Okay, so much for the "less crude" resolution; let's party! And party we shall, for the Stevenote is scant hours away, and what with Apple refusing to go slumming in a sorry dump like our own beloved Boston this summer, there's a little less Steve to go around this year-- so you should be sure and drink deep when he struts his stuff tomorrow. As usual, there are lots of ways to get your dose of Steve; the best, of course, is to be there in person, and if you're lucky enough to be Moscone-bound tomorrow morning, congratulations and we hate you. If, however, you're not quite that fortunate, don't worry, because there are plenty of other options for hapless feebs like us.

First of all, it's a new year, so any list of Stevenote access methods sans the fringiest of the fringe would be woefully incomplete. To that end, faithful viewer Andrew Wilkinson tells us that you can actually sign up at Macteens for live Stevenote updates via SMS, those little text message dealies that all the kids with the cell phones are crazy for these days with the hula hoops and the Bobby Sherman and all that other hep fad jazz. Macteens cautions that "this is an experimental service, untested and not tried before"-- but that didn't stop over 500 people from swarming to sign up, prompting the removal of the registration form, which will reappear tonight at 9 PM MST for only half an hour. Warm up that clickin' finger.

For a more traditional method (and one you can actually watch instead of read), there's the satellite broadcast; MacMinute has all those fiddly little details you dish nerds need to lock onto Steve's beaming visage tomorrow. Non-dish nerds have a couple of choices, here: either 1) find a dish nerd and bribe, threaten, pummel, or otherwise cajole him into letting you watch the Stevenote at his place, or 2) plan to descend upon your local Apple retail store and pack in to watch the show on the theater screen. The only catch with the latter option is that you need to make sure your local store actually has a theater screen (several of the newer and smaller stores don't), and even if you know for a cold hard fact that there is a screen down there, Apple still recommends that you "see your store for details" just to make sure the broadcast is happening. The last thing you need is to show up all primed for a Stevenote to find that the manager is actually screening old episodes of "Webster" instead.

If satellite isn't an option (or you just don't feel like leaving the house), there's always the QuickTime webcast. We got a little nervous when Apple's keynote page disappeared for a couple of weeks, but now it's back, so you can be pretty darn sure of grabbing a stream tomorrow morning. When the technology was in its infancy our experiences with keynote webcasts were spotty, to say the least (and frustrating as H-E-double-tennis-rackets to say slightly more), but for the past couple of years or so we've noticed a marked decrease in dropped connections, video with missing audio, audio with missing video, missing audio and video but a lovely still photo of a kitten on a dog's head, etc. In 2003 our webcast experiences were rock-solid, and with a little luck, maybe 2004 will be no different.

Watch out, though-- just because 2004 feels like 2003, that doesn't mean nothing has changed. For instance, you may or may not have been aware of one of the ultimate Stevenote viewing options available: the Apple Market Centers. These are the gorgeous facilities the company maintains in several larger cities here and there, typically used for product seminars, some training, that sort of thing. Historically, those in the know could show up to an Apple Market Center on Stevenote day and be treated to pristine satellite broadcasts while snuggled up in Apple's plush leather chairs, far from the madding crowd. Depending on which Center you attended and what was going on at the time, you might also have been provided complimentary sodas, hors d'oeuvres, manicures, Swedish massages, and, upon leaving, large sacks of cash. In other words, it was the next best thing to being at the Stevenote live-- in some ways better, since you'd actually be comfortable. Think SkyBox vs. bleachers; sure, you might lose a little of the immediacy of the in-your-face live performance, but hey, the seats are comfier and you can see and hear everything.

We can already hear the screams from those who have jealously guarded this secret for years: "Why are they telling everyone this?!" Relax, folks; we're not letting the cat out of the bag, because as of this year there's apparently no cat, no bag, and most upsetting of all, no large sacks of cash. Faithful viewer bRaD Weston informs us that the party's over; if savvy Mac fiends show up at their local Apple Market Centers tomorrow morning sans Apple employee badge, they'll be turned away at the door without so much as a fine Cuban cigar. Boo! Hiss! Guess it's time to pack into the nearest theater-having Apple retail store like the rest of us losers, guys, or maybe fire up QuickTime Player. But think of it this way: if you go the QuickTime route in your own home with the curtains drawn, you can watch the Stevenote naked. Without getting arrested or anything! And isn't that way better than getting a couple of free cans of Mountain Dew, French tips, and $3.2 million in a Swiss bank account?

SceneLink (4421)
Big Discounts On Kix AND Trix (1/5/04)

The board is getting fuller, and Leon's getting LARGER! Have you ever felt that Apple's board of directors is weighing in just a couple of pounds light on the flamboyancy scale? Did you feel that Larry Ellison's departure in September of 2002 left a yawning glitz chasm too big for Al Gore to fill? (Truth be told, Larry does wear better suits.) Well, lighten up, Buttercup, because Apple has just announced a new addition to the company's board, and this one's going to knock your socks off: it's none other than Jim Lawrence!

Jim Lawrence. Lawrence. You know, the executive vice president and chief financial officer of General Mills?

The guys who make cereal. Right.

Oh, don't give us that look; we're sure Jim's a real madman. He was hand-picked by Steve, for gosh sakes, who plays up the man's "deep financial and international experience." Jim is a CFO, after all, so we assume he knows all about checks. (Wheat Chex... Corn Chex... Rice Chex...) And we don't care what you say-- anyone who's veeped at the place where they make Franken Berry, Boo Berry, and Count Chocula has mad street cred in our book. Just try doing your job with vampires and ghosts and stuff running around all the time. Okay, sure, the Franken Berry monster is pink, and he wears Elton John glasses, but he's still scary. Scarier, even, when you think about it.

And get this: way back when, it seems that Jim was the executive vice president of Pepsi-Cola in "Asia, the Middle East, and Africa." What is it with Steve recruiting Pepsi execs? You'd think he'd have learned by now that the ex-Pepsi guys are the ones who get you kicked out of your own company. Perhaps he's willing to risk it in order to hang around a guy who knows the Jolly Green Giant personally. Ho ho ho.

So the man hangs with Big Green, for Pete's sake-- admit he's cool, already. Still not convinced? Then listen up: General Mills also makes Pillsbury Toaster Strudel. Yeah, now you're impressed. Of course, they also make Go-GURT, but we'll try not to hold that against ol' Jim. Seriously, we're sure he's going to bring a lot to the table. For instance, Bugles-- and if the other board members are really lucky, Fruit Roll-Ups.

SceneLink (4422)
More Stuff AFTER Tomorrow? (1/5/04)

Well, if you're looking for Stevenote Eve rumormongering and last-minute speculation, sorry, but you're out of luck; we're all speculated out. Frankly, at this point we don't particularly care one way or the other whether miniPods surface tomorrow, whether they're Flash RAM- or disk-based, whether they come in colors (with or without stripes), whether they hit that magical $99 price point, or whether Apple claims they're produced from processed soy and lentils until Charlton Heston runs out on stage yelling that "they're people! MiniPods are PEEEOOPPLLLLLEEEE!" At this point we're sufficiently pooped from all the pre-Expo will-they-won't-they that we'll take whatever Apple gives us and be happy to get it. Kinda makes you wonder if that was the company's plan all along, doesn't it? Leak rumors of a miniPod a month before the show and watch the rumor-crazed fans work themselves into a foaming frenzy so that they're all complacent and quiet by the time the show rolls around.

Anyway, we know you're hurting for a dose of some sort of speculation the night before a keynote, so we'll back-burner the iTunes-on-Linux drama (we'll touch on that tomorrow, maybe) and instead send you over to Robert X. Cringely, who's making all sorts of fun predictions for the rest of 2004. That's right: the rest of the year, as in, days past tomorrow. Won't that be fun for a change? Items of particular interest to Macfolk such as yourselves include items 7 (Microsoft will buy Burst to end that company's patent infringement suit, which might spell trouble for QuickTime streaming), 12 (Wal-Mart's music download service "will undoubtedly take the leadership away from Apple" and it's "guaranteed... that Apple will introduce a cheaper iPod using Flash memory instead of a hard drive"-- whoops, guess we included a Stevenote thing after all), and 13 ("no Apple G6 in 2004, and the company won't sell nearly as many G5s as it hopes").

As far as we're concerned, we don't know nearly enough about the Burst thing to comment, but we have a tough time picturing Wal-Mart seriously overtaking the iTunes Music Store before the year's out. We also really don't see Apple releasing a Flash-based iPod that's actually cheaper than the current lineup (the whole point of the iPod is being able to take a serious wedge of music with you, and a cheap Flash-based iPod would be 1 GB at the most), and we're half-and-half on the G6 thing. While we wouldn't be surprised if Power Macs got new chips that technically could qualify as G6s, we figure Apple might not want to reprint all its stationery quite so soon. And we think G5 sales will be just spiffy, especially with new clustering initiatives that will follow in the footsteps of the third-fastest supercomputer in the world down at Virginia Tech.

But the main reason we bring up the article in the first place is because the last time we checked in with ol' Cringely not even a month and a half ago, he was predicting tablet Macs from Apple "as early as January." We can't help noticing that no such prediction shows up in this forecast for 2004. So did he change his mind, or does he consider an imminent tablet Mac such an absolute certainty that it's not even worth mentioning anymore? Just a little something to chew on while you're killing time until Steve struts his stuff...

SceneLink (4423)
← Previous Episode
Next Episode →
Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

(1202 votes)

As an Amazon Associate, AtAT earns from qualifying purchases

DISCLAIMER: AtAT was not a news site any more than Inside Edition was a "real" news show. We made Dawson's Creek look like 60 Minutes. We engaged in rampant guesswork, wild speculation, and pure fabrication for the entertainment of our viewers. Sure, everything here was "inspired by actual events," but so was Amityville II: The Possession. So lighten up.

Site best viewed with a sense of humor. AtAT is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Keep hands inside car at all times. The drinking of beverages while watching AtAT is strongly discouraged; AtAT is not responsible for damage, discomfort, or staining caused by spit-takes or "nosers."

Everything you see here that isn't attributed to other parties is copyright ©,1997-2023 J. Miller and may not be reproduced or rebroadcast without his explicit consent (or possibly the express written consent of Major League Baseball, but we doubt it).